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N577m contract: Babachir, 3 others get N50m bail

Former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal (middle) with his counsels, during his arraignment by the EFCC at the FCT High Court in Abuja on Tuesday.

Former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir Lawal and three others arraigned with him have been granted bail in the sum of N50 million each.

They were arraigned on Tuesday on a 10-count charge bothering on conspiracy and fraud before an FCT High Court in Maitama. Others arraigned along with him are Hamidu David Lawal, Suleiman Abubakar, Apeh John Monday and two companies, Rholavision Engineering Ltd and Josmon Technologies Ltd.

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Ruling on their bail applications yesterday, the trial judge, Justice Jude Okeke held that Section 162 (a-f) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) permitted the court to grant bail except in certain circumstances, adding that it was the contemplation of the Section that the prosecution had to prove that a bail applicant should not be granted bail. He said the prosecution has, however, failed to provide these proofs.

Justice Okeke, therefore, granted bail to each of the four defendants in the sum of N50 million with one surety in like sum each.

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The judge ordered that each of the sureties must be resident of Abuja and must show the number of the residential address to Registrar of the court.

The surety, he added, must own landed property in the Federal Capital Territory with titled documents, the original copy of which must be deposited with the court, and also show evidence of tax payment in the last three years.

The judge further ordered each of the defendants to deposit their international passports with the court.

He then directed that pending the fulfillment of the bail conditions, the defendants be remanded in EFCC custody.

The judge thereafter adjourned the case till March 18 for commencement of trial.

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